We all know the perils of working in an office when you are trying to keep healthy – with any excuse to bring in cakes and sweets – from birthdays to people returning from holidays – there are always plenty of unhealthy options lying around to tempt you.
Many offices also run events like “Foodie Friday” or “Elevenses” where one day a week someone brings in food for the whole team – while this may help in morale-boosting or team-building it certainly doesn’t help the office waistlines, particularly if the food of choice is doughnuts.
That’s not to say that such fun activities should be stopped – but there are plenty of healthier snacks and treats out there which could be used instead of pastries and cakes every week. Why not challenge the team to a healthy eating snack day instead?
Unhealthy, sugary foods can also affect concentration, making the afternoons incredibly unproductive and potentially causing stress as work that is needed won’t get done as efficiently as normal, so health snacks will also help to keep the office running smoothly.
Fortunately, we have our friends from SportzBits – an online publication for sports gear reviews, to guide us on some healthy office snacks alternatives. Here are their recommendations.
- Healthy protein bars
Why not set up a bowl of protein bars in the office – just watch the sugar content when choosing them but they come in variety of flavours – much better than the usual tin of office biscuits or chocolates that everyone is used to dipping into.
- Fruit bowl
Why not offer a fruit bowl for the office full of easy to eat, non-messy fruits so they can just grab and go back to their desk. Make sure it is regularly cleaned out and topped up, so there are no rotten apples left at the bottom! Try varying the type of fruit available each week to encourage staff to keep coming back to look.
- Crudités with dips
For a savoury option, why not set up a tray of carrot sticks and cucumber sticks with healthy dips such as low-fat hummus for people to choose – you could create individual portions to save the issue of communal dipping.
- Dark chocolate
If they really can’t do without chocolate then opt for dark chocolate, this is much healthier than milk chocolate. Look for organic and around 70% cocoa for the best quality. Individual dark chocolate bars will keep people going rather than keep coming back again and again to a tin of processed chocolates.
- Cheese and olive platter
Why not move away from the sweet tradition all together and offer a savoury snack tray with cheese, crackers, olives and pretzels, for example, as a treat but without the extra sugar fix which people often crave in the afternoons.
- Healthier crisps
If your team are crisp lovers then go for the healthier options – look for baked crisps or those made from plants, which are much better for you than the regular fried potato versions. Try out lots of different varieties to get people to be a bit more creative with their snack choices.
- Dried fruit chips
Packs of dried-fruit such as raisins, dried bananas or dried apricots also provide a tasty and sweet snack – just make sure they are pure fruit, not loaded with added sugar – to keep the healthy angle at the forefront.
- Nut bars
Nuts are great for providing an energy boost and full of protein so look for nut-based energy bars but make sure people don’t go crazy for them as nuts are also high in fats. However, a nut-based energy bar will offer a lot more nutrition than a chocolate bar.
Why not go for pure nuts with a selection of individually packed nuts on offer – make sure they are not overly salted or processed – the purer the better – but they make a great protein snack for staff to nibble on during the afternoon.
- Cherry tomatoes
This might sound like an odd choice but these beautifully sweet salad vegetables taste amazing and are just the right size to pop into your mouth – so why not have bowl of cherry tomatoes to choose from rather than a traditional box of sweets – just as tasty and much better for the waist lines.
- Savoury biscuits and crackers
As an alternative to biscuits why not go for rice crackers or other types of savoury biscuits such as sesame seed biscuits – just avoid those which are overloaded with cheese flavourings and other nasty fats. However, there are plenty of healthy versions choose from.
Working in an office needn’t be a nightmare for our waistlines – while birthdays and holidays still need to be celebrated, with a bit of thought and imagination it’s perfectly simple to ditch the doughnuts and offer your colleagues snacks which will help keep their energy up and their waistlines down.